Facial fat grafting, also known as facial fat transfer or facial fat injections, is as much an art as it is a science. Our surgeon Dr. Yap has perfected both skills, providing overall the most balanced, artistic results that safely last for the rest of your life.
Dr Yap evaluates each face differently making sure that you look like the same person but a much younger version of yourself. Using your old photographs can be a great starting point to understand how facial fat injections can help you restore your lost vitality, youth, and alert appearance all without making a single incision. With this minimally invasive technique, there is relatively little after care (although swelling does persist for a week or two).
Fat injection procedure
There are three stages in fat injections procedure – Proper harvesting, Gentle processing and Meticulous injection technique.
The fat has to be aspirated properly from the donor site because higher pressure suction disrupts and kills a certain percentage of fat cells. For this reason, most surgeons uses manual syringe technique, because the pressure generated by a syringe is much lower than that generated by a suction machine.
The harvested fat is then transferred to smaller syringes where it is then put in a centrifuge. The centrifuge has to spin long enough to separate fluid and contents of dead and disrupted cells from the remaining live cells, but not so long as to disrupt live cells. The surgeon then separate the live fat cells from the body fluid and contents of disrupted cells by a decanting process which does not touch the live cells. What is left is a slurry of almost 100% live cells.
The fat has to be injected properly in order for those tiny cells to be able to receive nutrients from the surrounding blood vessels (capillaries) to grow and become healthy cells. If the surgeon injects a thick wad of fat cells, the cells in the center of the wad will starve before the blood vessels reach them. Thus the fat grafts have to be injected with very fine needles in small quantities. This is a very painstaking and slow process. If you inject a lot at a time, many cells will not survive.
The post operative period is as important as the surgery and you are advised to be very gentle with the face for at least four weeks after surgery. Once the fat grafts are in place, they are not likely to take root if they are being treated rough. You want to keep those grafts completely free of pressure until blood vessels grow into them and until those vessels are hardy enough to withstand any pressure such as salon facial treatment that can cause swelling of the face. When there is swelling, oxygen delivery and evacuation of toxins are impaired. This in turn reduces likelihood of fat graft cell survival.
Patients will be able to return to work within a week although a full recovery from the fat injections may take up to two weeks.
Fat graft benefits
In addition to making your facial structure look younger, fat injections can also improve your skin. More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that your own adipose tissue contains adult stem cells. These are cells found in your own fat that have regenerative properties. When the procedure is performed correctly, fat grafting can provide a new source of blood supply for your existing tissue and skin. Thus, the fat not only adds volume to your face, but it also has these natural regenerative properties to make your face look more youthful.
To schedule a Facial Fat Grafting consultation please contact us to arrange for appointment. The details of your Facial Fat Grafting (both the limitations and the benefits in your particular situation) will be explained to you during your facial fat transfer consultation with Dr. Yap.